Ocean City sweeps Hammers to move within a point of first place in Mid-Atlantic Division
The Ocean City Nor’easters completed the season sweep of the Evergreen Hammers with an emphatic 6-1 road victory on Tuesday night.
It was not easy getting there, but when the Nor’easters arrived in Virginia, they flourished. The trip was delayed by dangerous and untimely weather. Kickoff was pushed back 30 minutes by the rain and lighting. Once the game finally kicked off, Ocean City scored early and often. Miguel Jaime (Florida Gulf Coast / Denver, CO) got the goalscoring started in the 1st minute after curling it perfectly around the keeper with his favored left foot. This was just the beginning of what Nor'easters head crick oach Tim Oswald called a "dangerous" attack.
The “Man of the Match” for the Nor’easters was undoubtedly Chevaughn “Chevy” Walsh (Jefferson College / Jamaica). Walsh scored his second hat trick of the year as he became the first player in Ocean City's PDL history to multiple hat tricks in a season. The Jamacia native scored the 11th hat trick in club history and remains the 9th different player to achieve the feat.
Walsh's goals were assisted by Nathan Regis (Pfieffer / Arima, Trinidad & Tobago) in the 31st minute, Nick Hanuscin (St. Francis / Cinnaminson, NJ) in the 54th minute, and Miguel Jaime (Florida Gulf Coast / Denver, CO) in the 69th minute. With seven goals on the season, Walsh moves into a tie for second place in the PDL in scoring.
With the Nor'easters in front 1-0, Evergreen FC got on the board with an empty net tap in by Connor Coward in the 40th minute, but Ocean City would quickly regain the lead..
Two minutes into the first half stoppage time, Walsh dribbled impressively around several defenders before being taken down. The referee quickly pointed to the spot and Regis stepped up to take it. He sent it to the keeper’s right and kept it low to get his second goal (45+2’) in as many games.
Ocean City added another goal on the other side of halftime thanks to Martim Galvao (Pfieffer / Lisbon, Portugal). Ryan Howe (Loyola Chicago / Rockford, IL) sent in a perfectly-placed cross in the 52nd minute which made it impossible to miss.
“After being shutout by the Red Bulls [Under-23s] and Reading, we really have focused on fine tuning the movement of our front four and it has paid dividends for us," said Oswald. "It’s been awesome to see us evolve.”
Walsh added two more goals to complete the hat trick, a milestone that was even more rare considering the first three-goal performance also came on the road against Evergreen FC.
Goalkeepers Andrew Garcia (St. Francis / Sicklerville, NJ) and Mike Kirk (La Salle / Mechanicsburg, PA) both saw action for the Nor’easters, but neither recorded a save. The backline led by Andre Morrison (Hartford / Clarendon, Jamaica) did a fantastic job in closing down the Evergreen attack that has scored 11 goals this season.
With the win, the Nor’easters move up into second place in the Mid-Atlantic Division, trailing rival Reading United by one point. United will host last place Lehigh Valley United Sonic on Wednesday night before taking on the Nor’easters in the biggest match of the season thus far. Ocean City will seek to snap a decade-long winless streak against United. The club's last win in Reading came in 2006, a span of seven matches (0-5-2).
Oswald stressed that even after two wins in a row, the Nor’easters must continue to push forward to be successful this season.
“I think it goes without saying that we know what is at stake heading into the Reading match," said Oswald. "We have to stay sharp in training, challenge ourselves individually and as a team to be at our personal best and play with a purpose on both sides of the ball Saturday night. We are all looking forward to the next 90 minutes.”
Kickoff for Nor'easters' final road match of the season on Saturday, June 25 against Reading United will be at 7 p.m. at Don Thomas Stadium. After that, Ocean City will play their final five games of the regular season at home, which will all take place at the Tennessee Avenue Complex in Ocean City while Carey Stadium is under renovations.
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The Ocean City Nor’easters is a professionally run amateur soccer club with the focus of developing, educating and promoting soccer, health and leadership. Located in Ocean City, New Jersey, “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, the Nor’easters provide quality entertainment to families throughout the Tri-State area and the thousands of visitors every summer.
The Nor’easters organization was established in 1996 and made Carey Stadium, in Ocean City, NJ, its permanent home in 2005. Competing in North America’s top amateur league, the Premier Development League (PDL), the Nor’easters provide the highest level of soccer in Southern New Jersey. The 65-team PDL is the 4th level of soccer in the United States, below the professional leagues; Major League Soccer (MLS), North American Soccer League (NASL) and United Soccer League (USL). As part of the PDL, the Nor’easters’ have the sixth-best overall record since joining the league in 2003 and have upset five professional teams in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, third-most of any amateur team in the country. Ocean City players have the ability to compete during the summer months in a professional environment while maintaining their collegiate eligibility and pursuing their academic goals.